SARTELL -- The need for substitute teachers is at an all-time high.

With cases of COVID-19 continuing to surge in Minnesota, many school districts are having to switch to distance learning due to staffing shortages. Substitute teacher shortages have been an ongoing problem even before the pandemic.

Michelle Wang is the Education Director at Resource Training and Solutions in Sartell. She says over the summer they switched their in-person substitute teacher program to an online course to try and attract more people.

We've seen a lot more people who want their sub-license to help out when they are not working their traditional job. We've even seen people within school districts who don't have a teaching background but know the districts need to pull anyone they have to fill those spots.

The program is a self-paced course and designed for people who don't have an education background. Wang says when they were designing the course they got input from local school principals.

We asked them what are the skills you hoped substitute teachers come to you with. The response was more basic information and classroom management skills, not so much knowledge of the content.

Wang says they've also created a second program highlighting the basics of technology to help teach the tools schools use in a hybrid or distance learning model.

The cost for the program is $175 for the substitute teacher course, $30 for the technology add-on or $195 for both. You must have a four-year degree to take the course.

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